I believe that a kitchen must have the rights utensils. Not all of them but some are a must. Quality is primordial as it makes the equipment durable and safer to handle. Buy as per needed and of the best quality possible. Avoid pretty looking gadgets good for one dish or satisfying a fad.
Kitchen scale – an electronic scale is the best and for weight up to 2 kg is adequate in a home kitchen.
Hand blender or immersion blender – A simple one with a well-known name brand will do. It is a fantastic tool in the kitchen
Knife – Chef Knife – with a thick, long blade up to 25 cm / Paring knife (approximately with a blade of 7 cm) a knife blade should be rigid and very sharp. The metal must be of high standard such as stainless steel or high carbon stainless steel. Any must feel comfortable in your hand.
Peeler – A must to peel vegetables and fruits. Do not be afraid, a peeler avoid waste and is very easy to use.
Can opener – buy one of your choice. The simpler the better and stop using the tip of a knife to open tin cans.
Whisk. One big enough and with a good feel in your hand. A fork is not a whisk and cannot do the job of a whisk.
Pastry brush – Now you have some in silicone good for rough job but not for details. You can cheat in buying a good paint brush. Make sure the bristles do not get stuck to your muffins.
Tongs – Sturdy and in metal. Remember not to pierce meat which is cooking. Tongs are perfect for all the hot and delicate pick-me-up.
Cookie cutters – Get a box with various sizes. I use, sometimes, cookie cutter for plating dishes.
Grater – Yes, you need one to grate these cheeses, cucumbers, zucchini and even the chocolate blocs.
Measuring cup– Get one with clear measurements in metric and US or UK measures. Get glass or plastic. Are measurement cups important in the kitchen? ooh yes, they are!
Meat thermometer. It is a perfect tool for beginners. It avoids guessing work in knowing if a meat is cooked. Remember, it takes longer to cook or heat some items in place like Nairobi due to high altitude.
Pots and pan – Do not be cheap on these items. Buy them with a heavy bottom and metal handles if possible. Avoid the non-stick one. I don’t know why but you will always find someone trying to remove, with a vengeance, the non-stick layer with a metal sponge. Sorry, buy only a medium size non-stick pan for cooking egg and egg product. Hide the non-stick pan from some house-help if you want to give it long life. Good pots will almost last a life time, mine are over 15 years old and still look new.
Food processor – I do not use mine a lot anymore. The hand blander is more versatile for my needs. This said I still strongly believe that it is a must to have in the kitchen. I suggest a reliable brand. I do like the grating and slicing attachments. The food processor is my tool “par excellence” to make pastry dough.
Also – I will update this list accordingly. Please, do ask me questions about kitchen essentials.